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Recipes January 2014 Issue

Steel-Cut Porridge

This reader favorite is perfect for making a big batch, then reheating in the microwave for later breakfasts.

Basic stovetop method: Bring 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups additional liquid of your choice, and salt to a boil in large, heavy saucepan. Sprinkle in oats, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, 15 minutes. Add dried fruit. Cook, stirring often, until porridge has thickened and oats have a tender, but chewy texture, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Overnight soak method: Soaking the oats overnight gives you a head start, so cooking time in the morning will be shorter. The night before, place 2 cups water, salt and oats in large bowl. Cover and let stand overnight. In the morning, bring 1 1/2 cups additional liquid of your choice to a boil in large, heavy saucepan. Add soaked oats, any remaining soaking liquid, and dried fruit. Return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until porridge has thickened and oats have a tender, but chewy texture, 10 to 15 minutes.

When porridge is ready, stir in vanilla, if using. To serve, top each serving with a sprinkling of cinnamon, 2 tsp brown sugar (or other sweetener) and finish with your choice of stir-ins and toppings.

Yield: 6 (2/3-cup) servings.

Per serving (with 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk and raisins): Calories: 190. Total fat: 2.5 grams. Saturated fat: 0.5 grams. Cholesterol: 5 milligrams. Sodium: 85 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 37 grams: Fiber: 4 grams. Protein: 7 grams.


  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 cup Additional Liquid (Milk, Soy Milk, Almond Milk etc.)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Steel-Cut Oats
  • 2/3 cup Dried Fruit (Raisins, Cranberries, Cherries etc.)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave Syrup

Comments (8)

I have long been a fan of steel cut oats. It has such a nutty flavor and texture. I've been doing jut what this article suggests, making a large batch and reheating it for future meals in a hurry. Two additional things I've found is that it freezes well. I sometimes freeze it in single serving quantities to "nuke" when I need or want it. Also I've placed it in a regular loaf pan and refrigerated it. When it is firm I slice it and fry it in a very small amount of butter to make it crispy on the outside. I've heard of people lightly flouring it before frying it to give it a crispier outside. Then it can be topped with maple syrup or a fruit sauce of your choice. I'm a big oatmeal fan so no matter how I get it I like it. The steel cut variety is much tastier and less glue-like than the rolled oats we grew up with.

Posted by: Stephanie Martinet | January 15, 2014 10:36 AM    Report this comment

The loaf pan/slice/fry is a marvelous idea of which I never thought. I do the same thing with corn grits, a recipe my Mom called 'paunhaus.' I have modified the recipe a lot to make it much more nutrient dense.

Posted by: George Dehnel | January 16, 2014 6:00 PM    Report this comment

Another option: use this recipe in a 1 quart crock pot, turn to low setting, and leave overnight. In the morning you'll have a delicious hot breakfast with no waiting, and the leftovers can be refrigerated for later use.

Posted by: Jolene Robinson | January 4, 2015 4:01 AM    Report this comment

I have been doing this for quite some time. The only difference is that I use a fuzzy logic rice cooker to cook the oatmeal on porridge setting. There is no pot watching and I add the extra ingredients such as dried cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla and/or brown sugar or honey when cooked. I put it in a rectangular plastic container and refrigerate. To serve I microwave a slice from the container. Recently, I noticed that the top gets a bit brown as I leave it out on the counter to cool before refrigerating so that moisture doesn't form. I tried brushing the top with a little olive oil and that has solved the problem.

Posted by: Jean Dock | May 1, 2017 11:13 AM    Report this comment

I put in some chopped apple and cinnamon . No sugar or any kind of sweetener. I
Understand there is pesticide on dried fruits. Not healthy to use them everyday.

Posted by: siu yuen kwan | May 1, 2017 7:06 PM    Report this comment

I too, use a fuzzy logic rice cooker. Used to use a basic rice cooker but this produces far better results because there is a porridge cycle. No boil over. Can also set up on timer to be ready in the morning.
Also concerned about pesticides in dried fruits.

Posted by: Lisa Carruthers | August 7, 2017 9:51 AM    Report this comment

Attention Campers--Made at home & frozen with tight lid in safe plastic, a frozen block of cooked oats with cinnamon and maybe a shake of pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg, your cooked oats are purrrrrfect to take in the cooler when camping- just scrape down the sides each morning into your mug, and add boiling water to reheat. Measure, as you'll want enough to last- keeps a week. Try it at home & you'll be convinced! No mess. Bonus: Keeps your cooler cool!

Posted by: M Falzareno | August 7, 2017 12:52 PM    Report this comment

Regarding pesticides on dried fruits: If the dried fruits are organic, there should be no more pesticides on those than there would be on the undried versions.

Posted by: Unknown | August 7, 2017 5:31 PM    Report this comment

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